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History Heroes’ Scientist Jocelyn Bell Burnell gets her own Scientists Game

31st July 2014

I was thrilled to discover that one of History Heroes’ scientist Heroes, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, was appearing at the local Winchester Science Festival last weekend and even more thrilled when the Festival’s organisers kindly invited History Heroes to present a pack of the Scientists game to Jocelyn Bell Burnell after her talk there.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, as you may well know, discoverd pulsars, was the first female President of the Institute of Physics and was made a Dame as one of the many accolades received for all her achievements. She was fascinating and incredibly impressive: obviously brilliant, but almost more importantly charming and a great communicator. She gripped her audience – including History Heroes – as she talked about where we all come from in relation to the Big Bang. Then she was interviewed about her life and progression through science. She explained what a pulsar was: ‘a kind of star, which sends out radio waves’. I felt sick: History Heroes’ first fact about her states:

1. In 1967 I discovered pulsars, a type of neutron star

I sat there sweating: Why had we described a pulsar as a ‘neutron star’ when Jocelyn Bell Burnell doesn’t say that. Where had we got ‘neutron’ from? What is a ‘neutron star’ in any case? What were we thinking…?….and then Jocelyn Bell Burnell went on to elaborate, “A pulsar is a kind of neutron star”….PHEW!

This went on throughout her talk for all 7 of the facts that History Heroes stated about Bell Burnell. Thankfully every History Hero fact was mentioned and hit its mark. Even better, I was probably at least half a stone lighter by the end of the talk.

I handed over the pack of Scientists to Jocelyn Bell Burnell at the end of the talk and, as a rule, we at History Heroes don’t like to boast, but feel compelled to report that she really liked the game and described it as, “really impressive and extremely accurate”. Proud and thinner, I left.

History Heroes Scientists, Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Bell Burnell analysed 3 1/2 pages of data to discover pulsars